The US Has Low Consumption Rates of Fruits & Vegetables
In the United States, inadequate consumption of fruit is the number one dietary risk for poor health, described as healthy years lost. Fruit and vegetable consumption decreases risk for cardiovascular disease and some cancers; aids in digestion and weight management; and may even boost school performance among children.
The recommended daily minimum requirement is to eat five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. New evidence also suggests that certain fruits and vegetables are increasingly important for a healthy diet, including dark, leafy greens such as spinach, chard, and kale and dark orange and red vegetables such as sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and red peppers.
Strategies to Increase Fruit & Vegetable Consumption
Boulder County Public Health is working to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables using the following strategies:
- Increase access through pricing, placement, and urban planning strategies.
- Provide fruits and vegetables at early childhood centers’ programs and family events
- Provide fruit and vegetable options for workplace functions and events
- Make fruits and vegetables available for purchase at public venues, government offices, within vending, at hospitals, and places that children and families frequent
- Provide free fruits and vegetables through a variety of interventions including, but not limited to increased SNAP/food stamp allocations, food rescue programs, WIC programming, partnering with local farmers’ markets, and other programs that benefit young children and their families
- Increase incentives for local fruit and vegetable production in Boulder County
- Increase availability of fruits and vegetables in retail locations in underserved areas of Boulder County
- Reduce the cost of fruits and vegetables through Federal Nutrition Incentive Programs
- Promote consumption within systems and organizations that impact young children and their families.
- Educate parents and young children about the benefits, ease, and accessibility of consuming fruits and vegetables
- Put fruits and vegetables at the beginning of buffet and food service lines
- Place fruits and vegetables at eye level and within reach of children in retail food establishments, including school cafeterias
- Support farm-to-school, farm-to-preschool, or other similar projects to increase availability of fruits and vegetables in places that serve children